The powerful punch of prunes

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

The other day I stumbled upon a piece of research about how eating between 50- 100 g prunes a day can prevent bone loss in post-menopausal osteoporosis and may also prevent and reverse osteopenia. That's pretty exciting given I have osteopenia and have been cutting prunes into my homemade muesli for many years.

50 -100g prunes a day can prevent bone loss in post -menopausal osteoporosis.

Prunes are a perfect example of a food with benefits, otherwise known as functional food, and what's so great about them is you don't have to pluck them from the Amazon basin or pay a fortune to enjoy them. Prunes are inexpensive, they taste great and aside from preventing bone loss, they're easy to digest, high in fibre, and have a slightly laxative effect which, is a big plus for so many people who take 3 days or longer to go to the loo!

Prunes can improve digestive health and relieve constipation.

Interestingly, although 100 g dried prunes contain 6 grams of fibre compared to prune juice which has no fibre, the natural sorbitol content in both the whole food and the juice has a mild laxative effect.
6 prunes = 10% recommended daily intake of fibre
And the gift keeps on giving. For a quick energy snack, a few whole prunes will give you an energy boost without your blood sugar levels spiking. It's thought to be a combination of fibre, sorbitol, fructose that keeps blood sugar levels from this simple sugar snack from spiking, as well as phenolic compounds which delay glucose absorption.

Prunes are a good energy snack which won't cause blood sugar levels to spike.

Phenolic compounds in prunes may serve as preventive agents against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer and the high potassium content is beneficial for cardiovascular health. Remember that prunes are whole dried plums, and 12 prunes is the equivalent of around 200 calories so don't go bonkers and eat too many in your quest for good health.

Prunes offer protection against chronic disease.
Another compelling reason for eating prunes is boron.

Prunes are a great source of boron, a trace mineral, micronutrient with diverse and vitally important roles in metabolism. 100 g serve of prunes will give you 100% the daily recommended of dietary boron. Boron plays an important role in bone development and regeneration, as well as wound healing, the absorption and use of calcium and magnesium.

Boron also has anti-inflammatory effects that can help alleviate arthritis and improve brain function.

Boron from prunes has anti-inflammatory effect and can help alleviate arthritis.

So there you have it. Plenty of reasons to eat between 50-100 g prunes a day

And, as an aside, don't look for a commercial muesli with prunes because you won't find one. Prunes clump together when they're chopped up so you'll have to make it yourself. You'll find a great recipe in the Autumn section of The Greengrocer's Diet (page 148 for those of you with a book)


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